Hi my name is Brooke, and I’m a Maximizer.
I want to squeeze the most out of every minute and every dollar I’ve got to spend on this green earth. I’d rather spend money to save time, but my favorite is when I can save both. I just want to make the best decisions. All the time.
This is a good thing. And also, a threat. In my quest for the-best-everything, I often sacrifice my sanity and enjoyment of what’s right in front of me.
Let’s say, for instance, that I was going to Europe. Let’s just say. Traipsing through the French Alps and Norway, for instance. Traipsing, by the way, is a word I specifically reserve for anytime I leave the country. Something in my soul ignites and I traipse.
When we traipse our way to Paris, a cooking class is on the menu (see what I did there?). There are hundreds of them throughout Paris, and I’m not exactly what you’d call a “sophisticated” student in a kitchen. They could probably teach an egg-cracking class and I’d get something out of it.
Brooke just wants to go to a cooking class with her husband. The Maximizer wants to find the BEST cooking class at the BEST price for the BEST experience to celebrate her BEST marriage. I get caught up in the frenzy of it all.
I want to know which connection we’re taking at what time and where the trains are reliable and where they’re not and oh-my-gosh-can-someone-please-tell-me-the-absolute-best-café-in-this-city-so-I-don’t-waste-my-time-at-some-chintzy-café-I-could’ve-gone-to-at-home!?!?
I don’t want to lose The Maximizer. She’s got some good qualities. I just want to maximize the right things. But the thing is, I’m not celebrating Europe. I’m celebrating in Europe.
And My Marriage is my Most Favorite – it’s worth celebrating. You guys, it’s just so true. My marriage is my most favorite. I don’t know another one like it. I hope all my married friends can say the exact same thing.
Now don’t get me wrong – this marriage has taken hard work. It will take more hard work in days to come. There are days that we don’t exactly show each other Jesus. But most days – most days this man teaches me more about Jesus than I could have ever imagined.
This is the man who drove 12 hours roundtrip to sneak in 12 hours with me just last month as I spent a week away at a conference. THAT’S SO INSANE. Crazy, whackadoo, over the top, insane. Especially since we were sleeping for 8 of those hours.
But that’s love. And that’s what I’ve learned from this man.
I gotta admit: I don’t always offer the crazy love. The Maximizer doesn’t always let me. There would have been more “calculating” in my process. I would have tallied the miles on the car, the gas, and chosen a more economical way to show love – like through a thoughtful text message. Or if I was feeling really crazy, a card via overnight mail.
But not this guy. This guy drove the miles, bought the gas, and gave both days of his weekend because he knew I needed his arms around me. I didn’t even know how much I needed that expensive hug.
This is how my God loves me too – in a totally whackadoo, inefficient, over the top way. Sometimes that’s hard for me to receive. Sometimes I’m calculated there, too. Looking to love Maximizer style – efficiently rather than fully.
But in this is love – not that we first loved Him, but that He first loved us. And gave His only son.
Talk about over the top. I mean, couldn’t anything else have done? Did he have to spend THAT much? Honestly, I don’t know. I mean, I know that theologically there was no answer that would fully cure sin aside from Jesus’ death on the cross. But I also know that it was God’s system to begin with. A bigger mystery than I expect my brain to unwrap. And I’m okay with that.
So I don’t know if He had to. But I know He chose to.
The mystery of marriage is that in the crazy and whackadoo lovey-dovey times, as well as the deep, raw, difficult moments, we are told we’re reflecting God’s truest self.
So that’s what we’re celebrating. Ten years of reflecting God’s heart in some of the most beautiful, most difficult, most surprising, most mysterious, most fun, most crazy whackadoo ways. For better and for worse. THAT is what I want to maximize. Because I’m not celebrating Europe. But I sure as heck am celebrating in Europe.